Memory. It's a big thing in my world these days.
Memory is a funny thing. It spurs us forward because of what we once experienced. The trouble lies in those moments we have forgotten. Those times when we've been stuck, felt hopeless, yet were rescued in big and small ways that showed how much God cared... only to forget years later when we faced a similar life giant. I can forget. I can forget how God keeps His promises to me. I can forget how tenderly He deals with me when I deserve nothing from Him. I can forget how He never forgets. I can forget how He keeps me close to His heart, always cradled in the palm of His hand. I can forget that if it matters to me, it matters to Him. I can forget that the things I need are always at the forefront of His mind, and He doesn't want me to worry because there simply is no need.
In February, as most of you know, Adrain left his 20 year career and changed directions completely into the world of insurance and finance with a Christian organization. It left me breathless. Mostly, it left me breathless in fear and worry about how we were going to make ends meet with a 100% commission type career after 20 years of a steady paycheck. Because I'd forget. I'd forget about every single solitary collective thing in my past 40 years with God. As I would scratch things out on paper in March, chewing anxiously on the end of my pencil, I'd think, "how can this work?" And then God...
I could end this post right here. Because it begins and ends with that; "And then God..."
I began scribbling down all the places and times something happened miraculously, coincidentally, perfectly timed, etc over the past nearly five months. I have a running list right now, of things we didn't anticipate, things we didn't know about, perfectly timed, things we thought wouldn't happen that did, and then things we feared might happen that didn't. I also wrote down seven personal prayer goals for the things I cautiously hoped God would help, (when will I stop with the cautious part and move into bold territory?) provide or take care of through this job change, and then God...
He has been graciously allowing me to systematically check those boxes off that prayer request list I laid at His feet back in February and that leaves me breathless as well but for different reasons. I feel breathless over my own forgetfulness. I forget that HE FREAKING LOVES ME! If I started there, it might just end there... peacefully in my own heart.
you build it. So in biblical days, people often built or raised a monument after God had helped or delivered them. In that way, they could visually see and be reminded of how God had been a very present help in their times of need and not forget... so when we keep a notepad filled with things and ways God has delivered us, we are raising our ebenezer. As we blog about His answers to prayer and His faithfulness when we deserved nothing, we are raising our ebenezer.
As I reflected on many of these thoughts I realized that leaving fears over our future come down to an active personal choice. There isn't a magical number of times God can deliver us that will cause a mental shift where suddenly we are able to trust, hands-free, care-free and worry-free. At some point we must look back... see... remember... and then not knowing what the future will hold, still choose to plant our faith flag in the sand and say, "Okay I trust. I choose to trust. Help my unbelief!"
How about you? Do you need to plant your flag in the sand next to mine and link arms in this choice so we don't forget? Is God calling you to step out in faith in an area but you've been paralyzed with fear? Do you need to go back and make a list of ways He has been faithful in this life?
Because I can so easily forget... here I am, raising my ebenezer to His faithfulness.